본문 바로가기

[연구] Research

[일본-노트] Postwar Japan

 Two Book Recommendations for studies on postwar Japanese regime:

Embracing Defeat

Dower, John W. 지음
Norton | 1999-03-01 출간
Chronicles the events that took pla...
가격비교 글쓴이 평점  

Altered States : The United States and Japan Since the Occupation

Schaller, Michael 지음
Oxford USA | 1997-09-01 출간
The relationship between the United...
가격비교 글쓴이 평점  


Postwar Japan after Defeat

Readings Assigned:

John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of the World War II (New York: The New Press, 1999), Chapter 2.

Michael Shaller, Altered States: The United States and Japan since the Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), Chapter 1.

Rieko Kage, Civic Engagement in Postwar Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), Chapters 2-3.


Carol Gluck, “The Past in the Present,” in Andrew Gordon, ed. Postwar Japan as History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 64-98.

Kazuo Kawai, Japan’s American Interlude (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1960).

Theodore Cohen, Remaking Japan: The American Occupation as New Deal (New York: Free Press, 1987).

Mark Caprio and Yoneyuki Sugita, Democracy in Occupied Japan (New York: Routeledge, 2007), Chapters 3 & 5.



John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of the World War II (New York: The New Press, 1999), Chapter 2.

Cartoonist Kato Etsuro’s war posters in the 1940s, 1942 – depicting Roosevelt and Churchill, later replaced by his illustrations of the first years after the defeat. Surrender… Turning to drawings about the vagaries and difficulties of ordinary life.

Revolution from Above

Victor’s revolution from above”

US depicted as the key to freedom, crushing the zaibatsu, “democratic revolution from above”

Until 1947, “leftists as well as liberals commonly regarded the overwhelmingly American occupation force as an army of liberation, and the notion of achieving a “democratic revolution””


Precariousness of the new democratic revolution

Kawakami Tetsutaro – 1945 Oct described the U.S. policy as one of “rationed-out freedom”

“As timed passed, more than a few commentators called attention to the passivity and superficialty implicit in the very notion of a democratic revolution from above.” “Democracy came “too easily” in such a milieu and so failed to establish deep roots” only making people obey to the rules of the superior. 

Critic Kamei Katsuichiro: “the heralded revolution was more than a charade but less than a real struggle for democracy. Instead of revolutionizing consciousness,…, the occupation had tended to reinforce a “colonial mentality”


Demilitarization and Democratization

Misnomer #1: 1945 August~1952 April: “Allied occupation of Japan” = “misnomer” as “From start to finish, the United States alone determined basic policy…”

-       3 Basic documents drafted by U.S which established the initial objectives of the occupation:

1)       Potsdam Proclamation (US, GB, China announced the terms of surrender) – Japan placed under military occupation, trial of war criminals, “just reparations”, “completely disarmed”

2)       United States Initial Post-Surrender Policy Relating to Japan (September announced)

3)       Comprehensive military directive, elaborating postsurrender policy (remained secret until Nov 1948)

-       Doughlas MacArthur as the Supreme Commander = “epitomized the American monopoly on policy and power”

Misnomer #2: International Military Tribunal for the Far East (for the top-level war-crimes trials) – it was “predominantly American show” where Americans dominated the “international prosecution section” that set the agenda for the tribunal.

Policy of reeducation: “Underlying this immodest objective [(of the documents]] was a growing sense of urgency that the country should not only be “democratized” to prevent the reemergence of militarism, but simultaneously immunized against a rising tide of communist influence.”

Extension of democratic ideals to the economic field: “the post-Potsdam formulations explicitly mandated the promotion of policies “which permit a wide distribution of income and of the ownership of the means of production and trade.”” => “dissolution of the large industrial and banking combinations” that emerged during the mobilization period for war + “promote labor unions and carry out a sweeping land-reform program”

The essence of the “Initial Postsurrender Policy”: to render Japan as a peaceful, democratic, law-abiding nation, eradicating the roots of militarism.

Exceptional aspects of this occupation:

-       “remaking the political, social, cultural, and economic fabric of a defeated nation, and in the process changing the very way of thinking of its” yet “they were still defining their grand mission as they went along.”

-       Notably different from Germany case after WWII, as the occupation then was by multiple countries (US GB FRA and Soviet Union)

-       “MacArthuresque” control – personality imprint on the policies (“messianic fervor” unseen in Germany)

-       Understanding militarism and ultranationalism as the sense of a feudalistic and Oriental culture, attempt to make Japan “law abiding” in the “Western mode”


Imposing Reform = “a signal expression of America’s commitment to a genuinely radical agenda of “democratization””

-       Abolishment of the Peace Preservation Law of 1925 (left wing critics arrested due to this law)

-       Return of freedom of speech and assembly

-       The Special Higher Police/”thought police” of the Home Ministry abolished

-       Political prisoners communist colleagues released

-       Liberalization of the constitution

-       Franchise to women

-       Liberal education

-       Democratization of economy (land reform, antimonopoly)

-       Shinto (emperor-centered government-sponsored cult) abolished on Dec 15

-       Trade Union Law guaranteeing the workers the right to organize, strike, and bargain, approved by the parliament, Diet on Dec 22

-       Decentralization of the police

-       Renovation of the electoral system

-       Promotion of greater local autonomy (decentralization)


Overall, toward a “pacifist course”

-       “The new national charter – initiated by GHQ in February 1946 and promulgated nine months later, after extensive public and parliamentary discussion – was the crown jewel of the reformist agenda. It not only codified the basic ideals of “democratization,” but wedded them to “demilitarization” by explicitly prohibiting Japan from resorting to war as a means of resolving international disputes.

-       Kato vs. Yoshida Shigeru (PM in 1946-47 and 1948-54, who “belittled the very possibility of making Japan democratic.”)

-       Vs. conservatives who rejected all arguments about “the “root” causes of militarism, repression, and aggression, choosing instead to depict the recent war as an aberration…” that it is only enough to bring the state back to “the status quo ante of the late 1920s”


*Pro-US perspective: “This was an extraordinary, and extraordinarily fluid, moment – never seen before in history and, as it turned out, never to be repeated. Like Kato, many Japanese would indeed welcome the revolution from above… The American regimen cracked open the authoritarian structures of the old society in a manner that permitted unprecedented individual freedoms and unanticipated forms of popular expression to flourish”





Michael Shaller, Altered States: The United States and Japan since the Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), Chapter 1.


Chapter 1. “Japan: From Enemy to Ally, 1945-50

1946 Yoshida Shigeru – formed his first postwar cabinet

1945-1950: Occupation under Commander General Douglas MacArthur – “controlled revolution” – “the partial uprooting of political, economic, and social structures that had contributed to repression at home and aggression abroad.”

Faltering relationship between Douglas MacArthur and the Truman administration (Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes and Texas Democrat Tom Connally): politically no option but to make MacArthur the Commander in Japan


-       Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers(SCAP) = MacArthur and the headquarters

-       + Two oversight committees, which “had the slightest influence on policy anytime during the next six years”: 1) The Far Eastern Commission; and 2) The Allied Council for Japan = only purpose in soothing British, Soviet, Chinese allies.

Official surrender: Sept 2, 1945 on the battleship “Missouri” in Tokyo Bay

General Headquarters (GHQ):

-       in the Dai Ichi Insurance Building


-       12 or so sections corresponding to the Japanese cabinet and American army organization

-       E.g. Intelligence section: monitor Japan and SKorea (Charles Willoughby)

-       E.g. Gov section: oversaw political reform (Courtney Whitney)

-       E.g. Economic and Scientific section: economic policy authority (William Marquat)

-       These heads of the sections = “Bataan gang”, a circle of acolytes of MacArthur

-       Until 1948, just over 3,000 Americans and foreign nationals served SCAP, relying heavily on the Japanese gov.

-       Censored describing the actions of Truman administration

Douglas MacArthur’s view(9): 1951, told a congressional inquiry - “measured by the standards of modern civilization,” the Japanese “would be like a boy of twelve as compared with our development of forty-five years.”5


The Reform Period, 1945-47

Different perspectives on the outbreak of war6:

1)       The progressive Japanese government had been “highjacked” by militarists = anomaly

2)       Fatal flaw in the institutions (MacArthur on this point = calling for a “revolution” against the existing “feudal” orders)


Result of reform = “Continuity and Change”

 * Efforts to Change

MacArthur’s revolution(9-11)

-       Japan as his political stage (sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1944 and 1948)

-       “controlled revolution”

-       To transform Japan into a “new Middle West”.7

-       Began in earnest in Oct. 1945 – when SCAP issued a civil liberties directive releasing political prisoners, legalizing all political parties, and assuring protection of the rights of assembly and speech.

-       1946 produced a new constitution for the Diet to pass: stripped the emperor of temporal authority, enhanced the Diet’s power, extended voting rights, and declared the legal equality of women, Article 9 forbade creation of armed forces or the right of the state to conduct war.

-       1946 Politicians purge: wartime leaders verdicted as war criminals, neutering the influence of many senior politicians. “Political moderates and most ordinary Japanese favored cleansing the landscape of militarists and ultranationalists”

ð  Yet the results were limited: 20 officers to investigate 2.5 million cases => Japanese bureaucrats involved in the process => as results: “about 200,000 Japanese, over 80 percent from military and policy ranks, lost their political rights. Relatively few politicians and fewer bureaucrats or business leaders fell victim to the purge. Among those who did, most had their rights restored before or just after the Occupation ended”

-       Land reform: “to tear down the large feudalistic land holdings” and the “exploitive nature of the rural economy” => “Land reform created a class of small farmers loyal to the conservative politicians who initially opposed the law”

-       Overall, “Reform touched nearly every major institution during the first three years of Occupation. SCAP reorganized the national police, remodeled public education along Western lines, voided repressive labor codes, and seemed pleased that by 1947 nearly half the urban workforce joined trade unions.”8


* Continuity:

-       Prewar career bureaucrats remained(11) in place hardly touched by the purge or new constitution

-       Conservative parties “continued to dominate the Diet”(11) (Concern for free election obscured the fact that the prewar roots of the conservative politicians extend to big businesses and rural districts)

ð  The first postwar election in April 1946: The two conservative parties (the Progressives and the Liberals) won a majority in the Diet

-       The zaibatsu: unfulfilled task(12)

ð  1945 MacArthur told to promote a wider “distribution of income and ownership of the means of production and trade” by pursuing anti-monopoly program => SCAP hesitated

ð  State and Justice Departments dispatched a “Special Mission on Japanese Combines” led by economic Corwin Edwards + Reparations mission under oilman Edwin Pauley

ð  1945-46, both groups faltered as Truman admin showed no interest in the program.

ð  Result in failing economy => US provided annual assistance of $400 million through the army’s Government and Relief in Occupied Areas program (GARIOA)


Rethinking the Occupation

 Truman turns its interest in 1947 due to(12):

-       Mostly the relationship with the Soviet Union

ð  Japan and Germany revival required for building strong allies to contain Soviet Union: Navy Secretary James Forrestal brought Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, Secretary of War Robert Patterson, Agriculture Secretary Clinton Anderson, former ambassador to Moscow Averell Harriman to discuss on the matter… “Japan, Germany and other affiliates of the Axis… back to work.”(Forrestal)

-       Economic concerns of the region => “America’s key partners might seek an accommodation with the Soviet Union”

Yet hesitant Truman: “had recently appointed George C. Marshall to replace James F. Byrnes as secretary of state.”(13) 

As part of the containment strategy (13)

-       “Secretary of State George C. Marshall encouraged Acheson and Kennan to develop proposals along the lines. Joined by James Forrestal, named head of the new Defense Department late in 1947, and other civilian and military specialists, they contributed to the evolving containment program.”

Resented by MacArthur for interfering SCAP(13)

-       The recovery program was to extend the Occupation beyond early 1948 when MacArthur planned to return for presidency

-       So he argued that “he had fulfilled the essential goals of the Occupation” and that economic problems “could be resolved after the Americans left”

-       Vs. March 8 1947 Dean Acheson’s new approach to foreign policy: “World stability required building the “two workshops” on which the “ultimate recovery of the two continents so largely depends.”12

 Then came the Truman Doctrine and the debate further unfolds: “A bitter war of words” between Washington and SCAP (14-15)

-       March 12 1947 Truman Doctrine: Truman’s message to congress in times of crisis in Greece and Turkey, blaming the Soviet Union

-       March 17 1947 MacArthur press conference: reemphasized that his “spiritual revolution” has been successfully finished.11

-       July 1947 MacArthur’s unconsulted recovery package: to dismantle zaibatsu – “just as Washington resolved to make industrial recovery a priority, MacArthur ordered the Diet to pass a bill dissolving the combines and decentralizing industry”

-       George Kennan terms MacArthur’s plan as “socialism… if not near communism”13: Framing MacArthur that his scheme will destroy the major barrier to Soviet penetration in Asia – “socialization” attack on zaibatsus. MacArthur further accused of promoting reforms “far to the left of anything tolerated in America” and of embracing “lethal weapons” of socialism.15

-       Then last boom by Senator Joseph McCarthy who argued that Wisconsin is not really MacArthur’s “native state” => Most Republicans voted for Minnesotan Harold Stassen. After another defeat in Nebraska, MacArthur abandoned his quest for the GOP nomination.


Kennan’s Policy Planning Staff(16)

-       “Japan’s survival as an ally and the denial of its industrial base to the Soviets required action “to prime the Japanese economic pump.””16

-       Kennan noted: he was repelled by the “degree of internal intrigue” of the SCAP which resembled “the latter days of the court of the Empress Catherine II” or the last years of “Belisarius in Italy” – SCAP’s “social engineering” would wreck Japan.17

-       Kennan began to redraft the Occupation agenda in 1948 March

-       Army Undersecretary William Draper: visited and argued for curtailing reparations and assault on the zaibutsu – April 26 1948


1948, October by Truman - NSC13/2 – the Johnston report (17)

-       New Occupation agenda formalized by the Policy Planning Staff to the National Security Council during the summer of 1948.

-       “economic recovery as the “prime objective” in Japan.

-       Reparations halted, restrictions on industry restricted

-       By 1949, anti-monopoly program terminated


1948 Truman Election Triumph in November(17)

-       Now with full authority to reverse the course,

-       Special emissary Detroit banker Joseph Dodge to oversee SCAP and implement the program20(17)



-       American Council on Japan (ACJ): Dodge’s establishing of ties with critiques of MacArthur: Harry Kern (Newsweek editor in the previous year), Newsweek’s Tokyo corres. Compton Packenham, business lawyer James Lee Kauffman, former State Department Japan specialist Eugene Dooman (17)

-       1949~1950: Dodge and his staff – rigorous program of neoclassic economic policy “to rationalize an inflation-driven economy operating at little more than two-thirds of its prewar level.”(18)

ð  Envisioning “a high- volume, low-cost exporter of consumer goods primarily to Asian markets.

ð  To reduce “frivolous spending”: “major reductions in the public welfare budget, curtailment of business loans, and the firing of 250,000 government workers” => “These actions decreased domestic consumption and shunted bank credit, foreign currency, and raw materials to large enterprises engaged in export production”

-       April 1949 MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry)

ð  Promoted by Dodge and the compliant SCAP

ð  “modeled on the wartime Munitions Ministry and staffed by many of the agency’s veteran bureaucrats”

ð  MITI providing administrative guidance to banks and corporations

ð  Japan Inc, nurtured by American directives22



The Sinews of Containment: Japan, China, and Southeast Asia

The unimplemented Asian Marshall Plan: Marshall Plan for the Far East(18-19)

-       Southeast Asia as the market for Japan

-       Army Undersecretary William Draper: “economic aid program, similar to the Marshall Plan, for the Far East”25

-       Ralph Reid (Adviser to Draper and Dodge): proposal for linking Japan’s economy to Asian countries that are friendly towards US and provide a bulwark against Soviet Union – to assure that strategic raw materials do not go into the Soviet Union

-       “creating democratic governments to restore viable economies and check Soviet expansion” and keep “vital raw materials” out of Soviet control. 26

-       Although unimplemented, sparked the strategic interest in the Southeast Asian region, along with the Communist rise in China, rebellions in Indochina, Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies


Stability of Southeast Asia vital for US now(19)

-       Acheson argued that stability in the region must be fulfilled for the region’s “function as a source of raw materials and a market for Japan and Western Europe”28


Loss of China (19-20)

-       1949 Oct 1, establishment of the People’s Republic of China

-       Acheson: If China was lost, “protecting Japan’s industrial base and Southeast Asia’s mineral wealth required “drawing the line” against Communist encroachment.”


Overall, “Much of the debate within the Truman administration about China and Southeast Asia reflected concern over Japan”


Nonconfrontational approach to the Chinese Communist regime (3 different strands):

-       argued by Acheson – communist fall may be weakened by its ties to Japan’s economy

-       Yoshida for the total seizure of China by the Soviet Union = leverage with US and stable trade with China

-       Against the growing ties between Japan and China

ð  “two-track policy, permitting Japan limited trade with China” meanwhile “development aid to Southeast Asia” for the “dual purpose” of “advancing American influence”35


March 1949 President Truman approved Acheson’s view “that a total embargo would hurt American allies and drive China closer to the Soviet Union”, therefore to take “the calculated risk”36 and allow “regulated trade”(22) 

“During the first half of 1950, the Truman administration dispatched several economic missions to Japan and Southeast Asia.



Diplomatic Gridlock

Leave/remain (24): Two different views that left US’s Japan policy “adrift”(25)

-       State: To leave Japan (Secretary of State Acheson), cautious of Japan becoming tired of American control


-       Defense: Joint Chiefs of Staff considered “American air, naval, and land bases in Japan as vital “staging areas from which to project military power to the Asiatic mainland and to USSR islands adjacent thereto””


Feb 1950 China and Soviet Union signed a friendship pact, among other things to counter “aggressive action on the part of Japan or any other state which should unite with Japan, directly or indirectly, in acts of aggression.”(25)

ð  Used to justify to prolong the Occupation


Acheson’s New people to soothe congressional critics on the State Department for losing China & to convince the Defense Department to compromise over Japan (25)

-       Undersecretary of State Dean Rusk as principal adviser in Asia

-       Republican foreign policy spokesman John Foster Dulles as his adviser on Japan

ð  Both advocated more “vigorous support for Taiwan

ð  Dulles favored “bilateral defense treaty and a Pacific pact” to end the Occupation


This appointment coincide with “Japanese initiative to harness American interest in recovery and cold war cooperation into peace settlement”(26)

-       Yoshida Shigeru – longed for the early restoration of sovereignty on the bases of US support; public for “neutralism”

-       Contentious issues unresolved, delayed settlement: Soviet participation in a peace conference, rearmament issue, permanent American bases in Japan


Yoshida’s aspiration to end the occupation (26-27)

-       1947 Okinawa and the Bonin Islands offered for leasing bases (unaccepted by US, too early + requesting bases within Japan)

-       Sent three delegates to Washington (MacArthur forbade direct negotiation) – personal aide Shirasu Jiro, Finance Minister Ikeda Hayato, and an aide to Ikeda, Miyazawa Kiichi – economic issues with Joseph Dodge on the surface, but to discuss the ending of the Occupation – “education mission” entitled

-       Ikeda conveying Yoshida’s proposal: “The Japanese government herein formally expresses its desire to conclude a peace treaty with the United States as early as possible. In the case of such a peace treaty being concluded, the Japanese government thinks it will be necessary to station American forces in Japan in order to preserve the security of Japan and the Asian area. If it is difficult for the United States to make such a request, the Japanese government itself is prepared to make the offer”

-       Tweaking “American anxiety” – Ho Chi Minh against French in Vietnam, South Korea vs. North, Communist victory in China, the possibility of Japanese opinion moving “far to the left”

-       “hoped to ease Japan back into the world community without incurring the costs of rearmament or alienating the United States.”


Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk – Yoshida/Ikeda message to Acheson and Truman (28)

-       May 1950 Washington must show the Japanese “just what and when and where the United States would stand firm”51 – the need to defend Taiwan, South Korea, and Indochina (the former parts of Japan’s empire) against Communist force


Toward the final deal (28-29)

-       June 1 1950 Japanese government White Paper: willingness to sign the treaty separately with US if Moscow and Beijing refuse to sign.52

-       May June 1950 – Dulles and Rusk - package deal to support Taiwan to soothe the Defense side of the argument (proposing to increase military aid to Indochina)

-       Mid-June 1950 – rival fact finding missions to Tokyo by the State and Defense Departments:

ð  State: Dulles (along with his staff John Allison, Maxwell Hamilton, John Howard, and Robert Feary, “worried far more about Japan’s political and economic viability than tis value as a military platform”) “the danger he saw in the military’s plan to push Japanese rearmament and use Japan “as a major offensive air base.” “Overmilitarization,” as he called it, slighted the long-term interests of both Japan and America. If, on the other hand, the United States showed a determination to “stand fast” in Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, where real military threats existed, Washington could protect Japan with merely a “defensive guarantee, stiffened by a skeleton U.S. force” and limited Japanese rearmament.”56

ð  Defense: Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Omar Bradley (“searching for a checklist of reasons for not ending the Occupation” – military platform prioritized)(29)

-       Split views became public when the delegations reached Japan on June 17 – State denounced by Louis Johnson at an impromptu briefing.57


Private message from the emperor (30)

-       Advice to Dulles to consult “older people, the majority of whom have been purged” (after the outbreak of the Korean War)59


MacArthur as the mediator

-       urging to link an end to the Occupation of Japan with a commitment to defend Taiwan. (Johnson and Bradley disputed that if US defends Taiwan then it won’t be necessary to retain bases in Japan or compel Jap rearmament vs. Dulles agreed)

-       MacArthur-Dulles: instead of Dulles’ proposal to rebuild small army in Japan, MacArthur argued for rebuilding munitions industry to assist the “reconstruction of American armament

-       MacArthur-Bradley and Johnson: MacArthur argued “In exchange for granting American forces virtually “unrestricted” base rights throughout Japan, Washington should offer Tokyo a peace treaty and pay $300 million per year in new aid to balance Japan’s trade deficit… [and] a small-self-defense force”

ð  Bases

ð  Peace treaty

ð  $300 million per year

ð  Small self-defense force

-       Bradley and Johnson refused till the end and left Tokyo to block a settlement


Korean War 1950.6.25 (50)

-       Dramatic effect on the diplomatic gridlock in Japan

-       Catalyst to transform US’s East Asia policy: Truman “sent troops to Korea, ordered the Seventh Fleet protect Taiwan, and expanded military and economic assistance to French Indochina and the Philippines.”

-       Within 15 months, US “agreed to end the Occupation while massive defense procurements lifted Japanese industry from its post-war topor.” = San Francisco Peace Treaty April 28 1952

-       “The war in Korea set the stage for Japan’s economic “miracle.””(50)

-       Yoshida’s “playing the part of a “good loser” could be the next best thing to outright victory.”(50) – (last sentence of the chapter)




Rieko Kage, Civic Engagement in Postwar Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), Chapters 2-3.


Chapter 2. Civic Engagement

The Dependent Variable


Five major claims(19):

1.       Level of membership grew to much higher levels in the postwar period compared to the prewar period (in absolute terms)

2.       Level of postwar membership growth were at least as rapid for associations that operated under fairly liberal conditions during the prewar and wartime periods as those that had been more repressed

3.       Immediate postwar era, membership in groups with more “indigenous” Japanese origins appears to have risen at rates that are comparable with groups with more “Western” origins

4.       Evidence that associations are suppressed by the US occupation – less rapid increase in memberships compared to those that were not.

5.       Considerable intra-Japan variation in the extent to which membership in voluntary associations grew in the wake of WWII.


Data selection(20)

-       Range of voluntary membership associations:

1)       Youth/recreational groups

2)       Women’s organizations

3)       Social service groups

4)       Religious organizations (more emphasis on Western tradition “new religions” that are more prone to be “voluntary”)

5)       (labor unions)


The Rise in Civic Engagement in Postwar Japan, 1945-1955

-       Youth/Recreational Groups (YMCA Japan – oldest 1903, YWCA Japan, Boy Scouts, Girl Ccouts, Japan Alpine Club, Kodokan judo association)

*Japan Alpine Club: steady growth throughout prewar and postwar – less “Western”

*Kodokan: banned by SCAP during the Occupation from Jap schools 1945-50. Resumed faster growth after the lift of the ban

-       Women’s Groups: indigenous group “Tomo no Kai(Friends)” found in 1930 – not much affected during the wartime. Peak after postwar as well.

-       Social Service Organizations: Rotary Club, Japan Consumer Cooperatives’ Union, Kobe Consumer Cooperatives Union, Japan Seafarers’ Relief Association (JSRA))

-       Membership in Christian Churches – favored by MacArthur – a limited reason for growth during occupation and after.



1.       Levels were generally much higher in postwar Japan compared to prewar

2.       Postwar growth rates in civic engagement do not merely represent a return to prewar levels but far outpace them

3.       This occurred both in the more Western as well as more indigenous groups despite repression of the former during the war and some of the latter during the occupation


Cross-Prefectural Variation in Civic Engagement, 1945-1955


Counter results to the victory/defeat hypothesis: civic engagement rose at an impressive rate in defeated Japan in the wake of WWII, and across prefectures


Chapter 3. War and Civic Engagement

A Theoretical Framework

Victory/Defeat hypothesis: “a country’s victory or defeat to crucially determine its trajectory of civic engagement in the wake of wars” 

Proven wrong. Why? Due to 2 key factors that shape the growth of civic engagement

-       The process of war: wartime mobilization

1)       Preparation for war as the great state-building activity (Tilly)

2)       “patriotic partnerships” – voluntary associations providing wartime services (Skocpol et al.)

e.g. Hitler Jugend

“In short, major war produces major mobilization, including at the neighborhood level for tasks that are often taken care of in peace time by civic associations. This coercive mobilization at the community level is not necessarily experienced as an imposition by the state, so that when the coercion ends, so too does the participation. Rather, this study argues that the effects of this wartime mobilization may be more lasting than is often assumed”(51)

3)       Limited coercion = promote learning civil skills and participation: Military Service, Required Community Service, Jury Duty

4)       War, strong state, strong society

-       Path dependency in civic engagement: Preexisting legacies of prewar civic activities


Previous explanations:

1.       Democratization

2.       Occupation

3.       Wartime destruction